The 20-strong squad of Karnataka left for Chennai yesterday to participate in
the 68TH Santosh Trophy. The team is led by illustrious Xavier Vijaykumar and will be playing their South zone qualifiers at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai.
Karnataka start their campaign against minnows Andaman & Nicobar on Tuesday, January 28. The other teams in their group include, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and previous edition runners-up Kerala.
The team seems to be having a mix of experience and youth, after missing last two edition of Santosh, captain Xavier Vijaykumar males a comeback. Junior international Anto Xavier is a new inclusion, however, owing to a last-minute call to the national Under-22 team, management could not include former Indian Arrows boys defender Shankar and medio Deepak Prakash.
Shankar has recently signed for Bengaluru FC and Deepak is plying his trade in Hindustan Eagles.
Goal Keeper: Thomas, (DSK Shivajians), Razzak (HAL), Fayaz (Mangalore Dist.)
Defender: Prakash B, Jai Kumar (HAL), Chetan (Income Tax), Lokesh C (CIL), Arun Pondey (HAL), Nikhil (CIL), Imran (Chirtradurga Dist.)
Midfielder: Ngurilal Hmar (MEG), Don Bosco (BFC), Vignesh (Hindustaqn Eagles), Anto Xavier, (Student Union), Karthigyean (HAL), Tiken Singh (BEML), Xavier Vijayakumar (CAPTAIN-HAL)
Striker: Gopi (HAL), Stephen (Hindustan Eagles, Nanda (RWF), Vinu (Mangalore Dist.)
Manager - S Krishanaji Rao
Technical Director - R Thyagaraj
Coach - Aslam KhanGK Coach - SS Shahi